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My Tour Divide setup
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Ron Babington
(Ohbejoyful) - MLife

Locale: Greenville, SC
My Tour Divide setup on 07/17/2013 07:49:55 MDT Print View

I intended to post this before the race but never got to it, so here it is for posterity's sake.

The bike held up well and my only issues were with the eccentric bottom bracket, and my kit and gear all worked as intended with no big misses there, though I never really *loved* how I had things organized and packed. I'm still iterating.

Marshall Pass in CO
At the finish

Niner Air 9 carbon, full rigid, singlespeed (32x18)
Salsa Woodchipper bars
Avid BB7 road brakes w/ SRAM levers
Fizik Arione saddle
Revelate Designs bags: Sweet Roll, small Pocket, Gas Tank, Jerry Can, frame bag, Viscacha
Stans Arch/Crest wheelset with SON 28 15 dynamo hub to charge GPS (Garmin eTrex 30) and run Exposure Revo 800l headlight
Bontrager Team Issue tires (tubeless)

Front bag
Custom torso-length quilt from Ben @ GooseFeet Gear
Stoic Hadron hooded down pullover
Patagonia cap 4 long underwear for dry sleepwear
OR 400wt fleece gloves
MLD eVENT shell mitts
Pearl Izumi knee/arm warmers (when unworn)
Ibex beanie

Phone + credit cards + cash in Aloksak
Charging cords in Aloksak
Exposure Diablo helmet light
iPod + Bose ear buds

Frame bag
Drive side - 2L platypus with hose
Non-drive -
GG tarp pole
toiletries (bug dope, sunscreen, TP+sanitizer, etc)
Lezyne pump
misc snacks

Gas Tank (stem)
Ready to eat snacks/ sweets (pop tarts, gummmy bears, skittles, peanuts, candy bars, etc)

Jerry Can (seat post)
multi-tool, chain lube, Aqua Mira, tire levers, Body Glide

Viscacha (seat bag)
MLD Superlight bivy
Neoair (small)
MLD cuben Monk tarp (4x9')
Exped pillow (med)
HMG backpack/stuffsack for extra food capacity
Repair kit in Aloksak
Med kit in Aloksak
Marmot rain pants
Patagonia M10 rain jacket
Patagonia Houdini (usually wore this though)
Food to get to next resupply point

I think that covers everything. Holler with any questions or feedback.


22:16:38, 37th place overall, 3rd place singlespeed

Edited by Ohbejoyful on 01/08/2014 11:03:27 MST.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: My Tour Divide setup on 07/17/2013 12:53:58 MDT Print View

Awesome, awesome, awesome...

How did the woodchipper bar setup feel on the Niner? What stem (length/rise?) did you pair with the bars to get the fit you wanted?

Going singlespeed fully rigid is just killer.

Congrats on your ride. Did any of the El Paso people shuttling riders pick you up?

Ron Babington
(Ohbejoyful) - MLife

Locale: Greenville, SC
TD rig on 07/17/2013 15:47:19 MDT Print View

Thanks Eugene!

And oh man, I loved the Woodchippers so much that I'm tempted to build up a whole new bike around them (like a beater steel ss cross bike or something). They afford a ton of different hand positions, leverage is great in the flared out drops, I loved riding on the brake hoods like a road bike, and as a result I didn't have any hand numbness issues.

JayP ran the same bars on his record run last year:

I got a pro fitting from Eddie O'Dea in Atlanta with the bike as pictured and stuck with a 90mm, 0 deg stem I think it is (the bike is still in transport from Crazy Cat Cyclery in El Paso - my dad met me at the border and we flew out of there).

David T
(DaveT) - F
tour divide on 07/17/2013 15:54:04 MDT Print View

Thanks for the gear list and run-down, and big congrats on such a huge accomplishment. Nice work!

Ron Babington
(Ohbejoyful) - MLife

Locale: Greenville, SC
TD on 07/17/2013 16:42:12 MDT Print View

Hey thanks Dave! Much appreciated.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: TD on 07/18/2013 07:43:44 MDT Print View

Well done Ron!

Anything you'd do differently next time?

Charlie Murphy
(baltocharlie) - F

Locale: MAryland
re: Tour Divide setup on 07/18/2013 10:55:08 MDT Print View

Congrats, quite an accomplishment. Interesting setup. I have ridden some off-road and very rough road with a touring bike and drop bars. I never feel comfortable on the hoods while riding steep rough downhills. In the drops I can't get back far enough. I guess you used a bike with a shorter top bar which allowed you to move your weight back on the steeper descents??
I like you prefer long rides with drop bars but again I am not comfortable in rough downhills.
FWIW: I have also many years of Mnt biking experience, no pro but comfortable on dirt.

Ron Babington
(Ohbejoyful) - MLife

Locale: Greenville, SC
TD rig on 07/19/2013 10:13:53 MDT Print View

Thanks guys! Dave, I'm still bummed that I didn't see any grizzlies while in your backyard. Saw a black bear in Canada but that's it.

Your question about what I'd do differently made me think... for one, I'd definitely do it geared if I gave it another run. I'm happy I did it ss this time around but no need to do that twice, and it'd be fun to see the speed differential of being geared + a veteran of the route.

Also, for nav I would use the cues + cyclo as my *primary* method and GPS as a backup (just like Matt Lee advocates). I had only a GPS, so when it died on me in CO I lost time getting squared away with a manual nav setup and back up to speed (cost me two short 75mi days but I didn't skip any of the route or require assistance - stayed the night in Como to try and troubleshoot the eTrex then followed the map cues the next day to Salida where I got a bike computer from Absolute).

I'd also get my packing over the hump and 100% dialed in instead of 90%; e.g., instead of storing my quilt in the front bag and bivy+pad in the rear I'd just roll them all up together in one quick-deploy bulk and pack *that* somewhere.

That's all I've got so far...

Ron Babington
(Ohbejoyful) - MLife

Locale: Greenville, SC
TD rig on 07/19/2013 10:21:53 MDT Print View

Charlie -- I ended up getting really comfy on the hoods for descents, and anything too techy or steep I'd just walk anyway (Lava Mtn south of Helena and a nasty stretch on the reroute that had just been flashflooded are the only places that come to mind).

I also "walked" down Fleecer Ridge just south of Butte -- 38% for .25mi begins just over the ledge here :) ...


Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: My Tour Divide setup on 07/19/2013 10:27:34 MDT Print View


Very impressive. Thanks for sharing and including such a detailed gear list.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: My Tour Divide setup on 07/19/2013 13:45:53 MDT Print View

You have my interest peaked with the Woodchippers, Ron. They've been on my radar but I was apprehensive about going down the road of stem changes. I prefer 0 rise stems 90mm or less.

I may pick up a pair for my ss for kicking around on some rides.

A friend of mine is riding from Boulder to Antelope wells on the Divide in a few weeks for his extended bachelor party on wheels.

I hope you don't mind me copy/pasting your Gear list and forwarding it to him for reference as he prepares. He's going to need more room for beer.

Mitchell Rossman

Locale: Minneapolis-St. Paul
Td set up on 07/19/2013 20:11:54 MDT Print View

A great accomplishment and thank you for posting your rig and gear list!

Matt Thyer
(mthyer) - MLife

Locale: Pacific North West
Light? on 09/01/2013 12:21:11 MDT Print View

Thanks for the write up Ron. I'm getting ready for GD next year and one question I have not been able to solve is light. More importantly how to recharge battery packs for lights bright enough to use on trails along the course. I see you used a Revo 800l headlight which has similar characteristics and battery times. Did you just recharge at sockets along the way?

I'm considering re-socketing the CREE LEDs I have so that I can use a small, portable PV panel along the way.

Ron Babington
(Ohbejoyful) - MLife

Locale: Greenville, SC
Tour Divide lights on 10/07/2013 08:45:01 MDT Print View

Hey Matt, so sorry I missed this. Forgot to check back in on this thread!

There's a lot of different ways to go with the lighting setup (as you know), and I'm happy with how my system performed. The 800l Revo was powered by my front hub (SON 28 15) so as long as I was moving I had light (though it would diminish when the speed dropped on a climb; generally needs ~10+ mph for full lighting). I then had the Diablo on my helmet, which is equally important as the bar light for spotting obstacles, route nav, field repairs/ messing with your kit, etc. I would go with something that lasted longer and needed less recharging on my helmet next time (like a Lupine Piko, perhaps).

A TON of guys run the Fenix LD20 as their helmet (and even bar) lights, and JayP ran two of these for his record run last fall:

That's all I've got off the top of my head (pun intended), but holler with any more Qs. And best wishes in your GD'14 preps!!

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Water questions on 10/08/2013 07:18:42 MDT Print View


Congratulations that's quite an accomplishment! I see that you have a 2L platy and single water bottle on your frame. Did you have any other water bottles on your forks? What was the largest volume of water that you had to carry? Is the Great Divide Basin the longest dry stretch on the Tour Divide?

Ron Babington
(Ohbejoyful) - MLife

Locale: Greenville, SC
Tour Divide - water capacity on 10/08/2013 13:11:50 MDT Print View

Hey Ian, good question. I carried (but barely used) another 1L platy rolled up in the frame bag in addition to the 3 liters you mentioned, but no fork-mounted bottles or anything though those were popular (if finicky).

When I was coming up on a dry stretch I would throw a bottle of water/gatorade/choc milk either in my jersey pocket or saddle bag (or both), which is all I needed for the Basin too. I drank + filled up at a tap at the fire station in Atlantic City (pop 37) before the Basin and that got me the 135 mi to Rawlins on the other side. There's a well 25 miles in but I didn't need it.

If I did it again I'd probably abandon the platy + hose approach and use bottles alone (like this: I think it'd be quicker and easier.

Edited by Ohbejoyful on 10/08/2013 13:21:26 MDT.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Tour Divide - water capacity on 10/08/2013 13:44:53 MDT Print View

Thanks Ron. I have a project 29er hard tail bike that I'll be working on this winter and I'm still brainstorming how I'm going to set it up.